18 NAC Student-Athletes Attend the 2015 Conference SAAC Retreat

On March 6 and 7, 18 student-athletes and three administrators from eight of the 10 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) member schools came together for the 2015 NAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Retreat. The event was held at the York Harbor Inn and focused on the theme of "Inspiration, Influence, Initiative, and Impact."

The retreat provided students with the opportunity to interact with their peers from other colleges, gain perspective from a former Olympian and seniors from a local nursing home, learn more about themselves, and discuss important business related to their roles as conference and campus SAAC leaders.

The program began on Friday afternoon with an "icebreaker" activity where the students and administrators worked together in four different groups to create a poster with what they believe they would learn from the weekend retreat. This started the retreat in a creative and fun way so that the students could get to know one another a little bit better.

The participants then had the opportunity to listen to Barb Marois, one of the most decorated and celebrated US Women’s Field Hockey players in history, who shared her story. The students were able to ask questions and see several items that Marois picked up from her days in the Olympics and throughout her international play. 

After dinner, the participants went into a business session that was led by NAC SAAC President Elizabeth Ferry from the University of Maine at Farmington. The discussion was based around the sharing of ideas, initiatives, and events that each campus SAAC is involved in. The night was ended with a few games of Candlepin bowling. 

After only day one of the retreat, many positive memories were made, “I had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed each and every aspect of our time together at the SAAC Retreat,” said Steven Lamonde of Johnson State. “Listening to Barb's life story was a motivating experience; she quickly became a source of inspiration for all of us. I and the other student-athletes were able to bond while bowling and I gained several new Facebook friends and took down several cellphone numbers to keep in contact with others.”

Saturday morning started with NAC Commissioner Julie Muller facilitating a session on the DiSC Assessment. The assessment is designed to help the participants gain a better understanding of their individual behavioral styles and preferences, develop a common language when addressing these topics, and learn to better relate to others.

"Even after 10 years as a Commissioner, I continue to be impressed by the amazing people we are fortunate to call NAC Student-Athletes," said Muller. "I thoroughly enjoyed our time together and appreciated the opportunity to share some of my own insights with them. They were completely engaged throughout our retreat and serve as great reminders of the worthwhile work we get to do on a daily basis."

After the assessment, the group went into another business session to review the conference SAAC bylaws, elect/reelect conference officers, and discuss topics regarding Student-Athlete DayDivision III Week, and conference initiatives.

To end the retreat, the participants visited Durgin Pines, a nursing home in Kittery, Maine. The students and administrators received a tour of the nursing home and then were able to share stories and hear "words of wisdom" from some of the residents.

“I enjoyed every aspect of the retreat,” said Ferry. “The icebreaker was fun and helped us start thinking about what we wanted out of the weekend; Barb’s talk was phenomenal; bowling was so much fun and it was great to just relax and really get to know each other; DiSC was such a valuable resource for all of us; our business discussions were very positive and informative; and our visit to Durgin Pines was such a rewarding experience!” 

To view more photos from the 2015 NAC SAAC Retreat on Facebook, please click HERE

                    (icebreaker)                                   (candlepin bowling)                               (business session)                               (Durgin Pines visit)

**Barb Marois Bio: 

Barb Marois is one of the most decorated and celebrated US Women’s Field Hockey players in history.  A member of the prestigious USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame (2004), Barb represented the US in two Olympic Games (1988, 1996) and numerous other international competitions including the World Cup (1986, 1990, 1994) and Pan American Games (1987, 1991 and 1995). During her tenure, the team won a Bronze medal in the World Cup and two Silvers and a Bronze at the Pan American Games.  By the time she retired in 1996, Marois had played in 152 international games. 

Each year from 1991-1994, Marois was named USA Field Hockey’s Athlete of the Year.  An All-American from the University of New Hampshire, Barb was named the college’s Athlete of the Year in 1985-1986. 

Barb’s impact on the game of field hockey has continued since her retirement as an international player.  She is the very successful varsity field hockey coach at York High School (York, Maine), winning numerous State Championships, most recently during the fall of 2014.